Published online Jun 25, 1996. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v2.i2.89
Revised: January 4, 1996
Accepted: April 10, 1996
Published online: June 25, 1996
AIM: In order to elucidate the biological significance of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor (sTNF-R) in hepatomas, we observed the differential profiles of serum sTNF-R levels in 83 hepatoma patients and 61 healthy controls.
METHODS: The serum levels of soluble sTNF-R were measured with sandwich enzyme immunoassay.
RESULTS: The mean serum sTNF-R levels were significantly higher in the hepatoma patients than in the controls (2.69 ± 0.79 μg/L vs 0.93 ± 0.29 μg/L, P < 0.001). The increment correlated well with the stage of the disease, i.e. the serum levels of soluble sTNF-RI in the patients with stages III-IV were greater than in those with stages I-II (2.97 ± 0.43 μg/L vs 1.74 ± 0.41 μg/L, P < 0.001). Additionally, we found that increased sTNF-R level correlated positively with serum alkaline phosphatase (r = 0.59), white cell count (r = 0.43) and serum globulin (r = 0.32), and correlated negatively with serum albumin (r = -0.71). Among the hepatoma patients, the frequency of increased serum sTNF-RI level (89.16%) greatly exceeded that of serum AFP (54.22%). Moreover, comparison of 25 patients before and after chemotherapy indicated that patients with a rise in sTNF-R over the therapy course had decreased clinical response (3.39 ± 0.43 μg/L vs 2.67 ± 0.34 μg/L, P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: In patients with hepatoma, serum soluble sTNF-R levels correlate well with disease stage and response to chemotherapy. It is reasonable to postulate that this determination can serve as an aid for the detection of these cancers, for follow-up studies, and for assessments of prognosis.